Allergies Under Dogs Chin: Serious?
If you’ve seen bumps, spots, rashes or blisters under your dog’s chin, could it be allergy-related?
Or could it be something more serious?
Our dogs have the knack of worrying us ‘dog parents’ all the time with various mystery ailments. Most of the time these issues sort themselves out and we have nothing to worry about.
Other times it’s our vet who reveals the truth, and that truth can be a relief or a worry when it’s revealed to us.
As with all concerns that you have regarding your dog’s health, seek the advice of a qualified vet if the health or behavior of your dog changes suddenly or unexpectedly.
Lumps Under The Chin: Dog Allergy & Non-Allergy
Contact Dermatitis – Dog Allergic Reaction
Dogs can get contact dermatitis just like humans can.
Contact dermatitis is caused by the skin reacting to either something the dog is allergic to or a substance that directly irritates the skin such as a chemical.
In dogs, contact dermatitis typically affects the parts of the body that come directly in contact with the substance causing the issue. This will include the paws, chin, belly, and groin. Any part of a dog that has skin exposed is more susceptible to contact dermatitis.
The visible reaction can be lumps, bumps, rashes, and hives.
Because a dog almost always has its head down sniffing the terrain, it is quite common for a dog to develop a rash or lumps in the chin area as that part is almost always touching the ground while in ‘sniffing mode’
The list of possible irritants for dogs to suffer from contact dermatitis include, but are not limited to:
- Food Allergy
- Home Detergents
- Floor Cleaners & Floor Waxes
- Insect Bites
- Flea Collars
- Garden Chemicals & Fertilizer
- Weed Killer
- Garden Mulch (typically cedar wood)
- Insect Bites
Because every dog is different, it is possible for dogs to have contact dermatitis due to many different substances and very different reasons.
Some of the items in the list above may cause an allergic reaction in your dog, and some may be an irritant but not an allergy. Whichever is the source, it is advisable to speak to your vet to obtain the best treatment for your dog.
Plastic bottles & Other Plastic Objects Such as Food Bowls – Dog Allergy
When we think of plastic, we tend to think of it as being a simple product.
Plastic, however, can contain many different ingredients.
The Plastic’s Industry formulates plastic products specifically for the purpose of the end product. Some plastics need to be very tough, some need to be pliable and some need to be transparent or colored.
All the above requirements need different polymers to achieve the desired outcome.
Our dogs can come into contact with many different plastic products. Dog bowls, plastic bottles, plastic bags, and plastic food tubs to mention a few.
Because each type of plastic contains different polymers, it is very possible for a dog to be allergic to one, or more than one of these ingredients.
Some of the common plastic types are:
- Polyethylene Terephthalate (known as PET)
- Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
- Foamed Polystyrene (Styrofoam – Trademarked Name)
- Plexiglas (or Perspex – Trademarked Names)
For us dog owners, we don’t really concern ourselves with the technical names associated with plastic. But as dog owners, we should be aware that various types of plastics can cause allergic reactions in your dog.
Plastic food bowls are especially high-risk for a dog who has an allergy to plastic. Switching to a porcelain dog bowl is the safest option for dogs.
Metal Food Bowls Allergy in Dogs
You’d be forgiven for thinking that metal dog bowls would be a safe bet for your dog’s health. It seems to be a safe substance and as long as you buy a rust-free variety then all seems great regarding buying your dog a metal dish.
There is one threat lurking inside many manufactured metal products, and that threat is nickel.
Many humans (including myself) are allergic to nickel. I can’t wear watches with a nickel backplate otherwise I come out in a rash. Dog’s can have the same reaction to the nickel found in various metallic products.
Nickel-Iron is used in the manufacturing process to make stainless steel. Then, stainless steel is one of the most common metals that dog’s bowls are made from.
Nickel-Iron is used in the manufacturing process to make stainless steel. Then, stainless steel is one of the most common metals that dog’s bowls are made from.Nickel Allergy
It may be coming very clear already that stainless steel dog bowls could be a threat to your dog if he is allergic to nickel.
An allergic reaction under your dog’s chin could indeed be caused by your dog being allergic to nickel. All dogs have their chins firmly placed well inside their dishes when they eat, so of course, a nickel allergy could manifest very easily from a stainless steel dog bowl.
Canine Acne (Great Danes, Boxers and Doberman’s) – Not Dog Allergy
While any dog breed can contract canine acne, some breeds are more susceptible than others.
The Great Dane, Boxer and Doberman Pinscher are the top 3 dog breeds that tend to suffer from canine acne.
The cause of dog acne is very much the same cause of acne in humans. Acne is caused by excessively oily skin mixing with dead skin cells. The hair follicles in the affected areas become clogged, and inflamed lumps are the end result.
Canine acne is not an allergic reaction, but more of a specific condition that can take place in almost any dog.
Genetically, some dogs are more predisposed to acne than others. The highest risk dogs are:
- Great Danes
Canine acne can be itchy and even painful for your dog. Your dog is likely to scratch the affected area or rub itself against carpets or other rough fabrics for relief.
Canine acne is very easily treatable, so see your vet to get some immediate help for this relatively common condition.
Ingrown Hair – Not Dog Allergy Related
While humans and dogs are very different species, it’s often surprising how many ailments we can have in common.
Ingrowing hair occurs in both humans and our dog buddies too.
An ingrown hair is a hair that turns back on itself while it is growing. The hair never shows above the skin but continues to grow inside the hair follicle.
This ingrowing process is the perfect situation for skin infections to grow, and grow they do.
The skin where the ingrown hair is trapped can appear in several different ways:
- Swollen Skin
- Swollen Pimples
- Crusty Skin
- Bald Patches
The observable symptoms shown above can be other issues apart from being an ingrowing hair, so see your vet if your dog shows any signs that resemble the ones listed above.
Could Lumps on A Dog’s Chin Be Cancer Rather Than a Dog Allergy?
There are many types of cancer that a dog can suffer from.
The variety of cancer most likely to occur in the mouth area is Melanoma.
Melanoma is a type of skin cancer and it typically presents itself around the mouth or lips of dogs. It can also start in the paw-pads or in or around the eyes.
Melanoma are very aggressive tumors and while they may become present on the skin surface, they can rapidly grow beneath the skin where they then begin to attack the vital organs.
Melanoma quite rapidly starts to look more serious than a pimple and can look like a mole, or a red swelling or an area of crusty, discolored skin. Their size can grow quite rapidly due to the aggressive nature of this type of cancer.
A visit to your vet is a must if you suspect that your dog’s skin irritation is something that looks unusual.
Lipoma on Dog’s Chin
Lipoma’s, or fatty skin tumors, are very common in dogs. Our own dog, a Border Terrier had to have one removed a couple of years back. His was none threatening which was a relief.
A Lipoma is usually felt before they are seen because they grow beneath the skin.
To the touch, it simply feels like a small lump that moves a little as your finger moves around it.
Because lipoma can develop anywhere on a dog, the chin could be one such place just like any other. The outer surface of the skin, however, doesn’t typically show any sign of the lump. So if your dog’s chin is showing a visible structure above the skin, then a lipoma probably isn’t the problem.
If you detect a lump beneath your dog’s skin then see your vet. Your vet will be able to test if the lump is cancerous or not. Because lipoma in dogs is very common, you’ll hopefully receive the good news just like we did with our dog.
Injuries Under Dog’s Chin – Non-Allergy Related
Another type of irritation under a dog’s chin is a little more obvious (unless you didn’t see it happen!)
A dog’s nose is almost always to the ground when she’s out and about. This being the case, the chin is at floor level for most of the time during walks.
At floor level, there can be all manner of objects and bugs that can cause harm to your dog’s chin. Insect bites, broken glass, spider or snake bites plus many more.
If a dog’s skin gets scratched or bitten then it’s fairly common to see an infection or reaction follow on.
Most of these types of incident won’t be allergic reactions, but will most likely be infections. Bites from insects, spiders, and snakes can, of course, be allergic reactions, and some of these can be severe depending upon where you live.
Dog’s play-fighting can also result in various skin wounds and the chin can also take a hit during these sessions also.
Common sense needs to prevail many times with our dog’s, and our vets are the ultimate judges. So see your vet if you are unsure.
Treatment of Allergies Under Dog’s Chin
There are two typical causes of your dog suffering from skin allergies:
- Flea Bites
- Allergic Reaction to An Environmental Allergen
Between flea bites and environmental allergies, flea bites are the easiest to deal with.
There are two main flea treatments in pet stores and both are equally effective. The first is the small tube of liquid that you place a few drops of liquid on the back of your dog’s neck. The liquid is placed there to avoid your dog licking it off.
This flea liquid will kill the fleas on your dog and your dog’s irritation will pass in a few days.
These are the most difficult allergies to detect.
Environmental allergies include chemicals, household dust, and dust mites, household cleaning products, garden chemicals, grass, pollen, plastics, metals… The list goes on and on.
Because the list of environmental allergies is so large, it’s almost impossible to know the precise source.
Instead of trying to find the source, your vet may decide to treat the symptoms.
If the allergic reaction is under your dog’s chin, then your vet may very well treat this as contact dermatitis. Your vet may wish to give your dog immediate relief by prescribing corticosteroids or antihistamines which will help with the itching and reduce any inflamed skin conditions.
By way of treating your dog’s condition at home, you may consider using a specially formulated dog shampoo for hypoallergenic dogs and wash your dog’s bedding frequently with a hypoallergenic dog’s washing detergent.
Also, keep in mind the earlier sections in this post and avoid metal or plastic dog bowls. The ideal material for a for bowl is a ceramic one.
Treatment of Acne Under Dog’s Chin
If your vet diagnoses your dog’s chin issue as being canine acne, then allergy treatments won’t apply to your dog.
A topical benzoyl peroxide treatment is likely to be prescribed which is formulated to flush-out the infected hair follicle and also reduce harmful bacteria trapped within the follicle.
If the inflammation is severe, then your vet could prescribe a skin antibiotic. If this is the case, then follow the directions for usage as advised by your vet.
I wish you and your dog the best of health!